Gen. Mark Milley, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been in the hot seat this week as he faces extreme criticism from various members of Congress over President Joe Biden’s humiliating Afghanistan debacle.
According to Breitbart, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a U.S. military veteran, asked Gen. Milley, point-blank, why he hasn’t resigned, referencing a bombshell revelation made earlier by the general regarding the date on which President Biden consulted him about extending the troop withdrawal deadline past the Taliban-issued deadline of Aug. 31.
“I understand that you’re the principal military adviser, but you don’t decide, the president decides, but if all this is true, General Milley, why haven’t you resigned?” Cotton asked, a question echoed by millions of Americans who believe Milley had the power to do more than he did in order to facilitate a much safer and smoother evacuation effort.
“General Milley, I can only conclude that your advice about staying in Afghanistan was rejected,” Cotton said. “I’m shocked to learn that your advice wasn’t sought until August 25th on staying past the August 31 deadline.”
“It’s a political act”
Milley, who shouldn’t have been surprised by the question, shot back at Cotton in an attempt to explain that generals do not resign out of political protest, given their primary duty of following lawfully issued orders.
“Senator, as a senior military officer,” Milley replied, “resigning is a really serious thing. It’s a political act if I’m resigning in protest.”
“I’m not going to resign,” Milley added. “If the orders were illegal, that’s different. But if they’re legal from a civilian authority, I intend to carry them out.”
The Joint Chiefs chairman went on to explain that by federal law, his “statutory responsibility” is to provide the president with “best military advice,” and/or legal advice, which he claims he did at the time.
Milley added: “The president doesn’t have to agree with that advice. He doesn’t have to make those decisions just because we’re generals.” The general followed up by declaring it would be an “incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken.”
If the past two days of hearings prove anything, it’s that President Joe Biden was very clearly advised by a number of top generals in U.S. military leadership to leave a small presence of U.S. troops behind to ensure the situation didn’t devolve into chaos, as it ultimately did.
As Fox News reported, Biden, in August, denied that any of his top commanders advised such an action, which has proven to be false given the recent testimony of Gen. Milley and others.
Only time will tell if the hearings spark any resignations or admission of wrongdoing by the Biden administration, but at this point, one wouldn’t be advised to hold one’s breath in anticipation of that ever happening.